I. Support for Regional Terrorist Groups
(U) The CIA assessed that:
Iraq has a long history of supporting terrorism. . . . It continues to harbor and sustain a number of smaller anti-Israel terrorist groups and to actively encourage violence against Israel.
Baghdad maintains close and overt ties to several secular Palestinian terrorist groups and with the Iraq-based Iranian Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK).
( ) The intelligence reporting relied on by the CIA in drafting this assessment in Iraqi Support for Terrorism indicated that the Iraqi regime had directly supported several Palestinian terrorist groups and permitted many of these groups to operate within Iraq. The CIA provided a total of 53 reports detailing the Iraqi regime's interaction with Palestinian groups. A primary example of the regime's support of Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israel DELETED saying that Iraq paid a total of $10-15 million to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.41 SENTENCE DELETED Throughout the 1990s, open sources also showed that Saddam Hussein was a vocal advocate of martyrdom operations against Israel. The CIA provided two reports translated by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service as examples of his statements in support of the Palestinians, one of which described speeches in which Saddam urged the Arab nation to rise up against Israel and the U.S., and another which included Palestinian students thanking him for erecting a statue in honor of a Palestinian suicide bomber.
( ) During the Gulf War, Saddam Hussein enlisted the aid of the Palestinian Liberation Front (PLF) to attempt terrorist attacks. The PLF, most famous for the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro, and after 1990 when the PLF headquarters was established in Baghdad, relied wholly on Iraq for financial support and training. The PLF failed to carry out successful operations during the Gulf War in 1991 and drew criticism from Iraqi officials at the time. Regardless, the leader of the PLF, Abu 'Abbas remained in close contact with the regime. According to Iraqi Support for Terrorism:
- PARAGRAPH DELETED
The sensitive reporting, which was from a foreign government service, reported on the arrest of an individual who attempted to cross from DELETED in a car filled with explosives. The service had identified the individual as a member of the PLF, who had purchased the car from an Iraqi intelligence officer.
( ) SENTENCE DELETED The CIA assessed that the PLF could still be used by the Iraqi regime to conduct attacks, because the PLF had relied wholly on Iraq for financial support and training since 1990. A report DELETED stated, however, that Abu Abbas would have refused to conduct attacks on behalf of Iraq, and DELETED reports, DELETED that PLF members in Iraq were preparing for attacks against U.S. forces in the event of war. The analysts assessed that the PLF could be convinced to conduct attacks against U.S. targets on behalf of Iraq based on foreign government service reporting, and the fact that the PLF relied wholly on Iraq.
( ) Iraqi Support for Terrorism also assessed that other Palestinian groups such as the Abu Nidal Organization (ANO), the Arab Liberation Front, and the 15 May Organization, though largely inactive in recent years, could have acted as surrogates to conduct terrorist attacks for the Iraqi regime. The CIA provided ten reports, from multiple sources, including reports from foreign government services, substantiating the Iraqi regime's relationship with the Abu Nidal Organization. While most of the reports, DELETED provide historical context, DELETED.
( ) With regard to the Arab Liberation Front (ALF) CIA provided six reports on ALF-Iraq ties. These reports from a foreign government service, indicate that Saddam provided approximately $10 million to $15 million to martyrs families, DELETED.
( ) PARAGRAPH DELETED
( ) Reports from multiple sources also indicated the regime was attempting to build relationships with other Palestinian and anti-Israel groups, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command (PFLP-GC), Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and Hizballah, but was having only marginal success. The CIA provided four reports from multiple sources on the PFLP-GC and links to the Iraqi regime. SENTENCE DELETED SENTENCE DELETED SENTENCE DELETED
( ) The CIA provided seven reports on Iraq-Hamas ties. One foreign government service reported that Iraqi officials were meeting with Hamas representatives. The CIA provided two Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) reports in which Hamas leader Abd-al-Aziz al-Rantisi called upon Iraq to use "martyrdom" operations against the U.S. SENTENCE DELETED This was reflected in Iraqi Support for Terrorism as ". . .Hamas will not cross the 'red line' and target U.S. interests in the event of a war with Iraq."
( ) The CIA provided six reports to suggest that the PIJ had a similar approach to Iraq, but was further removed than Hamas in that it would not accept support from the Iraqi regime because it questioned the regime's motives. SENTENCE DELETED
( ) The CIA assessed that Hizballah was also standoffish toward Iraq. In Iraqi Support for Terrorism, the CIA stated that,
- DELETED Iraq has made DELETED overtures seeking
increased cooperation with Hizballah. Hizballah has rebuffed the Iraqi offers - DELETED, according to a variety of reporting.
( ) PARAGRAPH DELETED
( ) The CIA also provided eight reports from multiple sources on the Iraqi regime's relationship with the Iraq-based Mujahidin e-Khalq. To support its assessments that:
- Iraq provides bases, equipment, training, force protection, and probably funding to the MEK . . . The group is by far the most active of Iraq's terrorist partners . . . The MEK maintains bases in east-central Iraq near the Iranian border and periodically trains with the Iraqi armed forces, according to a variety of reporting. . . MEK forces perform some internal security functions for the Iraqi regime . . . .
The CIA provided DELETED reports on the MEK's bases in eastern Iraq, DELETED DELETED. The DELETED on MEK cross-border attacks in Iran, and DELETED indicated that the MEK had been trained in conventional and terrorist tactics by the Iraqi regime, and DELETED DELETED.
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